clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

At Four Months Old, Beats Music Has 250,000 Paying Customers

That's after trying before they buy.

Asa Mathat

There’s been lots of speculation on the state of how Jimmy Iovine’s Beats Music has fared since it hit the market. Now we’ve got a better idea.

The streaming music service has 250,000 paying subscribers to the service after launching more than three months ago, Iovine said in conversation with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the inaugural Code Conference on Wednesday.

That’s up against the five million people who have given the service a seven-day free trial spin — a five percent conversion rate in the short time on the market.

Compare that to Spotify’s 40 million active users, ten million of which are paying subscribers.

But Beats is not Spotify. Spotify supports its free service by serving customers ads, while Beats essentially has a paywall; pay up, or your free Beats Music trial ends just as fast as it began. Spotify also has almost a decade head start.

It’s the first glimpse into Beats Music’s health since Iovine launched the service this year. And as you may have heard by now, Apple announced that it will buy Beats — headphones, music service and all — for $3 billion.

Now it’s time to watch what Apple — who by SVP Eddy Cue’s own admission is wrestling with the future of iTunes music and downloads leveling off — will do with that early subscriber traction.

Watch my colleague Peter Kafka’s liveblog for more of Iovine and Cue at the Code Conference.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.